A Government agency advising organisations to invest in staff development has been told it's not good enough for Investors in People status.
Areas of weakness were highlighted at the West Midland branch of the Learning and Skills Council following an assessment.
The shortcomings will come as an embarrassment to the agency, which until 2001 was part responsible for delivering Investors in People.
Last night, David Cragg, regional director of the LSC, insisted the process had been an "early assessment report" in the wake of restructuring.
He claimed a full assessment would follow which the organisation expected to pass.
"Given the scale of institutional change, it would have been exceptionally surprising if we had been endorsed as fully meeting the standards," he said. "Indeed, we had no expectation we would meet all the standards. We have not failed anything. We have not been fully assessed. We are on a journey with the new organisation and wanted to benchmark where we were."
Union officials, however, said they were not surprised.
"In many ways it is a sad reflection of what is going on in the LSC," said a spokesman. "We have seen massive job cuts. Problems over pay and staff morale are at an all time low."
The LSC is responsible for funding and strategic development of post-16 education outside universities.
Part of its job is to promote effective management and staff development in colleges which includes encouraging IIP status.
A spokeswoman for IIP said: "There are still close links between the Learning and Skills Council's Train to Gain delivery network and Investors in People."